For those people who only treat as ‘real’ things they can directly perceive with the physical sense organs, the aura is considered to be some kind of fantasy of imagination. The aura, a vital sheath or envelope that extends beyond the boundaries of the physical body, has therefore long been the province of psychics and mystics. However, in recent years science has developed methods to determine the existence of the aura, and this has gone a long way toward debunking the idea that the aura is simply an illusion. Kirlian photography was one of the developments that showed an energy field around each living being. Various measuring devices have proven that there is an electro-magnetic field that indeed extends beyond the physical body.

The aura represents an interface between the vital nature of the being and the vital force that circulates in the environment, or that directly presses into the world from the native planes of the vital. As the seeker becomes able to experience and recognise these more subtle energetic actions, he begins to experience the effects of the aura, which provides yet another confirmation of its existence. For instance, an individual may feel pressure that seems to be an illness building up in the body. With close observation, this can be seen to actually start out as a pressure on the vital envelope surrounding the body. Action taken to strengthen the aura’s resistance capacity at that moment can reject the illness and, other than a few sniffles or coughs, or some pressure such as a slight headache, the individual does not actually get sick. Failure to act at this early stage, or even, undertaking actions which undermine the strength of the aura, can lead to a full-blown illness in the physical body.

Illness is but one example. Other vital forces may try to invade and undermine the vital nature of the individual, causing emotional disturbances, or nervous breakdowns. A strong and vibrant aura can withstand these attacks and help the individual pass through difficulties and traumas relatively unscathed.

While there are thoughts, emotions, and physical pressures which can undermine the aura, there are also those that can strengthen the aura, providing thereby a strong level of protection. An experiment was undertaken to take Kirlian photographs of an individual’s aura in a normal state, and then, after some period of concentrated chanting and pranayama. The difference, in just a few minutes of focused breathing and chanting, was clear and obvious. The aura gained in brightness, intensity and depth.

The Mother writes: “The vital body surrounds the physical body with a kind of envelope which has almost the same density as the vibrations of heat observable when the day is very hot. And it is this which is the intermediary between the subtle body and the most material vital body. It is this which protects the body from all contagion, fatigue, exhaustion and even from accidents. Therefore if this envelope is wholly intact, it protects you from everything, but a little too strong an emotion, a little fatigue, some dissatisfaction or any shock whatsoever is sufficient to scratch it as it were and the slightest scratch allows any kind of intrusion. Medical science also now recognises that if you are in perfect vital equilibrium, you do not catch illness or in any case you have a kind of immunity from contagion. If you have this equilibrium, this inner harmony which keeps the envelope intact, it protects you from everything. There are people who lead quite an ordinary life, who know how to sleep as one should, eat as one should, and their nervous envelope is so intact that they pass through all dangers as though unconcerned. It is a capacity one can cultivate in oneself. If one becomes aware of the weak spot in one’s envelope, a few minutes’ concentration, a call to the force, an inner peace is sufficient for it to be all right, get cured, and for the untoward thing to vanish.”


Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Our Many Selves: Practical Yogic Psychology, Chapter 2, Planes and Parts of the Being, pp. 16-17

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at and podcast at He is author of 17 books and is editor-in-chief at Lotus Press. He is president of Institute for Wholistic Education, a non-profit focused on integrating spirituality into daily life.